Basin residents honor Crater Lake
Herald and News
Klamath Falls, OR
August 26, 2005
After long months of work, Thursday was a chance for Klamath County residents to reap the rewards of a quarter campaign that features Crater Lake and the renaming of a road that leads toward the lake.
Gov. Ted Kulongoski and Rep. Greg Walden joined local officials for the celebration, a pre-lunch event at Veterans Park centering around the Oregon quarter and the newly renamed Crater Lake Parkway, formerly called the Alameda Bypass.
When introducing the governor, Commissioner Al Switzer thanked Kulongoski for choosing Crater Lake for the Oregon quarter.
“We’ve thanked the governor a hundred times,” Switzer said. “We want to thank him again for being wise and choosing Crater Lake.”
The governor endorsed a recommendation by the Oregon Commemorative Coin Commission to use Crater Lake as a symbol of Oregon’s natural resources for the quarter.
Kulongoski in turn praised local officials for their work on the quarter campaign.
“Millions of people will now have a picture of our treasure in their pockets all of the time,” he said. “Thank you for letting us use your Crater Lake as a symbol of our state.”
The governor specifically thanked Joe and Laura Spendolini for coining the phrase, “Klamath County, Home of Crater Lake,” which has become the official Klamath County slogan.
Walden also praised the people of Klamath County, a couple of hundred of whom attended Thursday’s event.
“Like everything else in Klamath County, it’s the people who make things happen,” he said.
Rep. Bill Garrard said the quarter will be a good way to create recognition that the lake is in Klamath County.
“It’s a nice step forward in trying to establish that link between Klamath County and Crater Lake.”
The event was put on by the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce, Klamath County and the Great Basin Visitors Association.
Chamber Director Steph-anie Bailey said the Thursday gathering was a nice event for Klamath County.
“Most people couldn’t get up to Portland when they had the unveiling, so it’s good to have one here at home.”
The event was also the dedication of the Crater Lake Parkway and the unveiling of a colorful new sign to designate the highway.
Shirl Horton, a member of the committee that worked on the renaming, said it was a proud day.
“It’s nice to have it done in this fashion,” she said.
Other speakers included Klamath Falls Mayor Todd Kellstrom, Crater Lake National Park Superintendent Chuck Lundy and Mike Stinson of the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Kulongoski spent Wednesday at Crater Lake with his wife, Mary, and had a private tour of the Fort Klamath Museum Thursday morning. The governor has been to Klamath County several times this year, sometimes on business and sometimes on personal trips.
In an interview, he said he’s drawn to the area in part because of the good fishing and camping. But he also said he wants to change the perception that Salem and state government don’t care about issues in the Klamath Basin.
He praised the ability of local entities to work together and called Klamath County a model for the state.
“We can sit down together,” he said. “I find it an easy place to visit.”